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Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke, screenshot from interview.

Malaysia breaks ranks with JIT on MH17 findings

Malaysia has broken ranks with Australia and The Netherlands on the MH17 disaster , saying there is still no conclusive evidence to confirm that Russia was responsible for downing the civilian aircraft, killing everyone on board.

Published: June 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

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    The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is comprised of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, but not Russia.

    The JIT international investigative group has been unable to provide conclusive evidence that Russia is responsible for shooting down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Donbass, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke says.

    Responding to journalists, Loke said the interim results of the investigation were based on groundless accusations.

    According to Loke: “There is no conclusive evidence pointing to Russia. Any further action by us will be based only on incontrovertible evidence. You cannot just blame Russia out of the blue. We also have to take into account our diplomatic relations”.

    A commission that includes dozens of professionals from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine presented a report a week ago. It concluded that the plane was shot down by a Russian anti-aircraft missile.

    The Dutch and Australian governments have declared that they would bring Russia to justice.

    “The global diplomatic campaign to hold Russia to account for downing Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine has hit a surprise hurdle,” says Russia analyst Patrick Armstrong.

    “That’s also at odds with the multi-country team of investigators, who said only a week ago, they had traced the missile launcher to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade.”

    Armstrong says the Dutch investigators left out the damage to the port engine intake. “By doing so they were able to shift the point of firing into rebel areas. But by including it you realise that the firing point had to be in Uke held territory. That’s assuming it was a BUK, but not enough of the 6K fragments have been recovered to convince me it was a BUK.”

    He added: “If I were Dutch, I’d be really ashamed of what has been done in my name.”

    The issue is back in the media, just in time for the Soccer World Cup to be held in Russia.

    During the incident, Ukrainian radar was “down for maintenance”.

    The Russian Ambassador to Australia, Grigory Logvinov has issued a scathing press release, rejecting the latest findings.

    “Despite of everything, all our efforts to commence a serious, solid and professional joint work are rejected out of hand,” he said.

    “There is a well-known style, a rough, clumsy algorithm. Dirty provocations are organised, and the guilty side is determined in advance.

    “The so-called ‘investigation’ is conducted almost completely on the basis of information from social networks and several international non-governmental organisations, which have tainted themselves long ago by fakes, forgeries, primitive fabrications and so on.

    “This unworthy style is clearly observed in the so-called ‘Skripal’s case’, Syrian chemical dossier, and previously, in the fabrication of pretexts for military invasion to Yugoslavia and Iraq.”

    The giant US intelligence structure apparently relies on social media and and one blogger in the UK: Eliot Higgins.

    Known as “Bellingcat”, he operates out of Leicester, England, and is praised lavishly by the likes of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and other mainstream anti-Russian sources despite the fact that his record for accuracy is a poor one.

    In his first big scoop, Higgins echoed US propaganda in Syria about the August 2013 sarin gas attack — blaming it on President Bashar al-Assad.

    He was quickly forced to back down from his assessment when aeronautical experts revealed that the sarin-carrying missile had a range of only about two kilometers, much shorter than Higgins had surmised in blaming the attack on Syrian government forces. Despite that key error, Higgins continued claiming the Syrian government was guilty.

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